Some Thoughts & Resolutions For Victorious Living In Christ

Posted on February 25, 2020

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Some Thoughts & Resolutions For Victorious Living In Christ

by Pastor Toks Oshokoya

We live in perilous times, such that if we were to look around us, we’d find that there aren’t too many things to be cheerful about—economically, socially, and spiritually. And most of these things we see tend to be more depressing than the things that should make one happy. So how do we respond to times like these? We must know that there is no alternative other than to look up to God. And so I would like to share a few thoughts on how to live victoriously.  

Be the Light

To live victoriously, you must shine the light where darkness seems to prevail. Be a keeper of the flame; let the light of Christ in you burn continually. God commanded Moses to ensure that the lamp in the sanctuary burned continually. Leviticus 24:1-4 says, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually. Without the vail of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning before the LORD continually: it shall be a statute for ever in your generations. He shall order the lamps upon the pure candlestick before the LORD continually.”

Anytime I see the phrase “it shall be a statute forever in your generations”, I always pay special attention to such because it is a commandment that must continue for generation after generation. God gave them a charge to bring pure olive oil particularly for the light, so that there would be light continually in His tabernacle.

We do not have any evidence that all the children of Israel obeyed this command of bringing oil into the house of God for the lamp to burn continually. This is because some people hear instructions but do not listen to those instructions. For one to listen, it means the person is paying attention. There must be a group of believers that hear and listen, they are the light-bearers; they are called the keepers of the flame.

God told them to ensure that the light continues to burn in the sanctuary. For us now, the sanctuary of God is in us, His children. For God does not dwell in physical building made by hands, He dwells in us. And we do not build monuments, we build men. It can be so depressing when you’ve spent years building people, and at the end of the day you seem to see their light go off while you wonder if you ever made a mistake.

We must know that no matter what, we will all stand at the judgment seat of Christ. So it is not a matter of how beautiful your physical life is, it is what happens to the Zoë, the eternal life that you received that matters. We have received eternal life, which is light, and it is not supposed to just burn within us, it is to be used to spark other lives, and those lives must continue to shine till we leave this planet. So if you know the reason why you were ever saved, then you cannot just be happy when you see a light that you once lit, go off.  

It is very important for us Christians to be mindful that we do not carry the ‘elder brother’s syndrome’ according to Luke 15:25-32. Let us always look forward to the redemption of those who have fallen.

The Bible says in 2Corinthians 4:1-6: “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Light will always shine out of darkness. For every day you are alive, can you truly say you have played a role in ensuring that shines light within and around you?  By the activities of your life, have you been a light that lights up other lives?     

The following scripture references tell us the symbolism that God attaches to the word ‘candlestick’ as referring to light and the responsibilities it represents:  

  • Job 18:6 says, “The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put out with him.”    
  • Job 21:17-18 says, “How oft is the candle of the wicked put out! and how oft cometh their destruction upon them! God distributeth sorrows in his anger. They are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm carrieth away.”
  • Job 29:1-5 says “Moreover Job continued his parable, and said, Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me; When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness; As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle; When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me;”

Every believer has God’s candle in him, and every one also has their own candle within them (See Psalm 18:28; Proverbs 20:27; Proverbs 24:20; Proverbs 31:18). So what does God mean when He says to ensure that the candle light shines continually?

Matthew 5:13-16 says “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

From the above scripture, we know that men light candles, and these candles represent other men! My question for you is, for the past eleven months of this year, have you lit candles or you have darkened candles? By the activities of your life, have the candle of the Lord been lit in some lives or have they been put out? The scriptures say let your light so shine before men…if men cannot perceive your light; it is because there is great darkness in you.

John 1:5 says “And the light shines and the darkness cannot comprehend it”. This means that when you shine the light, the darkness moves away from you, but it is still calculating how to overcome you if you give it opportunity.  

Don’t be a Christian who helps darkness to decode another Christian. Do not work for the devil to bring a child of God down when he or she is going through a critical moment in their lives. Don’t judge a child of God by Satan’s snapshot of a critical moment of his life; don’t pour water to put out the fire when you ought to keep the fire burning.  

We need to know that in the things of God’s kingdom, just because it works does not make it right. In the things of God’s kingdom, the end does not always justify the means. Sometimes, you need to check the origin of the doors that open up to you and where they are leading you to.

Apostle Paul in exhorting his son, Timothy, charged him to “Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them…Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you. (1Tim 4: 11-13, 15, 16) NLT

Teaching is different from preaching. Jesus commanded us to go and teach the nations. He couldn’t have asked us to do that if He had not shown us an example. Many scholars agree that 75% of the times Jesus spoke during His earthly ministry, He was teaching. So how did Jesus teach?

Teaching is explanation to bring illumination, and illumination is to bring development. Everything you declare, which you cannot break down to the level that a person can understand, is not teaching. That was why Jesus used parables to explain everything He taught, by using natural things to explain spiritual things. So when Apostle Paul told Timothy to teach and insist that people learn and not just that they hear, it is because sons of the house must learn while outsiders hear alone. That is why it is difficult to truly mentor a son only from the pulpit.

Galatians 5: 13-15, 24-26 NLT says “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another… Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.”

Live in Love 

Paul exhorted the Ephesians saying, “Therefore, be imitators of God as dearly loved children and LIVE IN LOVE, just as Christ also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. But among you there must not be either sexual immorality, impurity of any kind, or greed, as these are not fitting for the saints. Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting – all of which are out of character – but rather thanksgiving. For you can be confident of this one thing: that no person who is immoral, impure, or greedy (such a person is an idolater) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” Ephesians 5:1-5 NET.

Living in love means living like Christ, and that means we must steer clear of coarse jesting—any kind of joke you joke about someone and the person feels uncomfortable, is a coarse jesting. If you are in a position of authority and you make a coarse jesting about someone, the person may not talk because of your authority, but if you have any iota of emotional intelligence, you would know that you have hurt that person. Every time you hurt people by your jokes, you are hurting the lamp in them, whereas you ought to be a keeper of the flame.

Summarily, to live in love, what should you do and what shouldn’t you do?
DO –live a sacrificial life and give thanks always—sacrificial enough that you would rather be hurt than hurt some else.  
Are you going through hurts? Counter that pain with sacrificial living.

AVOID –bad language, covetous & immoral matters
Live in the Light

We are called to live in the light, and urged to “Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them, for you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. WALK as children of the LIGHT – for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth – trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.  Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For the things they do in secret are shameful even to mention. But all things being exposed by the light are made evident. For everything made evident is light, and for this reason it says: “Awake, O sleeper! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!” Ephesians 5:6-14 NET

You are walking in the light if you are constantly trying to learn and do what is pleasing to the Lord. And that means there are times you’d do what is not pleasing to the Lord because you have not fully mastered it. At that point the darkness would want to decode you and finish you with doubts and condemnation.

What does the Bible means when it says, “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them?  It does not mean that you should go and spy them out, but if the matter gets to you, expose its nature as being evil and separate yourself from it or them. As a child of God, we are not called to be busy bodies in other peoples’ matters, except we are called as witnesses. So dear child of God, you are not employed as a talebearer or whistle blower; you are to neither cover iniquity nor be a partaker of dark deeds.

So, in summary, to live in the light, these are the things you should do and what you shouldn’t do.

DO—be good, honest with integrity, please God.

AVOID—bad influences & distinguish yourself.

Live Wisely 

Ephesians 5:15-21 NET “Therefore be very careful how you live—not as unwise but as wise, taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil. For this reason do not be foolish, but BE WISE by understanding what the Lord’s will is. And do not get drunk with wine, which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for each other in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Understanding the will of the Lord is the door for wisdom. For every time you are trying to understand the will of the Lord on a matter, you are actually treading on the road of wisdom. The will of the Lord is that we do not be drunk with wine, but that we are filled with the Spirit of God. I believe that for every wine that leads to drunkenness, it is a loss of the Spirit. To the extent you drink, to that extent you have less of the Holy Spirit.

Every Christian that is still debating whether or not to drink alcohol, I can emphatically tell you that you do not know what you are looking for. Drinking alcohol is like you driving by the edge, you can easily fall over! A Christian ought to live as a Nazarite to God, which means no drinking! Zoe and alcohol will not stay together!

The residue of the Holy Spirit in a believer can only carry him on for some time. When all you have is less and less of the Holy Spirit, Satan knows because he can see that you are not growing in the Spirit. Then he will step into your soul and demons will flatter you to think that all is well with you when all is not well.

In order to live wisely at these times, ensure to do or avoid the following:

DO—pray, seek understanding of God’s will, sing melodious songs, exhort others, submit.

AVOID—drunken unguarded associations/lifestyles.

In the last twenty years, the Christian community has gone from preaching holiness to prosperity messages, to motivational speaking, and then to success and leadership. From the time the teachings on leadership took over the old church, church splits and rebellion has been on the rise. That is because the church failed to teach leadership from the standpoint of servant hood.  Rather, Christian employees were taught to have their personal business cards, while still working in a company, and secretly get the clients for themselves. God told me that I would never see where He preached about leadership, I would only see where He preached about servant hood. Every good servant becomes a good leader. Submission is paramount to becoming Christ-like in our walk with God.

In avoiding drunken and unguarded associations, remember that you can have contact without contamination, if you know your limit. But if the people that give you joy are those in drunken and rebellious immoral activities, also know that you will one day join them. So, be distinguished. If you are filled with the Spirit, your presence can make people lose their desire to do wrong.

Be resolved in your heart to follow Christ through and through.  If you make a mistake, don’t allow the darkness decoder to decode you. Pick up your battle weapon and move on. This is the way to live victoriously. God bless you.

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